Title: Liberia: The America-African Republic. Being...
Publisher: Edward O. Jenkins' Sons, New York
Publication Date: 1886
Book Condition: Near Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine
Edition: First Edition
107 pages plus an ad; with a number of engravings in the text. Introduction by G. W. [George Whitefield] Samson critical of the U.S. government's failure to assist the former slaves who settled in Liberia with few resources. The author was born a free black in antebellum South Carolina, attended college, was ordained a minister of the African Methodist Episcopal church, passed the bar, and held a never-ending string of influential positions in whatever community he found himself in. This book was written based on his experiences in Liberia as a professor in the early 1880s. He offers a history of the country, from its earliest founding as a colony for former slaves and free American blacks. Stewart was skeptical about Liberia's chances without support from the United States or some other power. He was equally critical of white attitudes, observing that God 'has stationed the climate there [in Tropical Africa] as a gloomy, watchful sentinel, with special orders against white men (p. 44).' The bad climate (which occupies several chapters of the book) caused much suffering among the residents of Liberia, but at least white men stayed away. Stewart also writes extensively on the relationship between 'Liberians' (American blacks and former slaves who relocated to Africa) and the native peoples they were displacing. He observed that many Liberians adopted Southern attititudes for work, believing the native Africans should do it (p.72). The solution would be 'fusion' between the natives and the American new-comers (p. 83). He concludes that the best hope for Liberia is the spread of Christianity. An important and widely-cited book, by a leading African American stateman and activist of the 19th century. Uncommon in commerce; many holdings in WorldCat, very few east of the Mississippi. First edition (first printing). A lovely copy in the publisher's original blue boards. Minor wear to extremities; previous owner's address stamp on rear pastedown, else a fine copy. Bookseller Inventory # 99600
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